The team selection said it all. OK, Jarvis may not have been ready for a full 90 minutes, but why not start him and seek to seize the initiative, rather than try to steal a win with a late substitution? Then there was the delayed use of Yossi. The guy opens teams up. What's the point of giving him just 4 minutes, plus injury time, of action?
As I posted yesterday, this was a season defining game and, despite our chances, Allardyce blew it to a certain extent. Had he gone all out for victory, we may have lost, but I fancy we would have won by a comfortable margin. Hughton seems to agree with me because he said after the game, "it's a clean sheet against a strong powerful West Ham side who will trouble a lot of teams this season."
Contrast that with Allardyce who accentuated the positives of a clean sheet, insisting, "From our point of view it is a well-earned point. It is our first point away from home this season and another clean sheet is very satisfying. That's three clean sheets from four since our return to the Premier League and that is a basis to build from."
You can't argue with the logic that says you can't lose if you don't concede, but you can't win if you don't score either! 38 draws sees you safe, usually, but nothing more - and we are not going to draw at Old Trafford, the Etihad and Stamford Bridge, to name but three, so victories are essential. I repeat what I said yesterday, set this team up to attack and we will put two past most opponents and, along the way, win more games than we lose. 15 victories gives you 45 points, a much better return than aiming to eke out safety from 0-0 draws.
Fair enough, a dodgy looking defence on paper has looked pretty efficient, the Swansea game apart, but the big challenges lie ahead and whilst 7 points from four games is not to be sniffed at, a false picture has been created by a relatively easy start to the season. In fact 7 points is par for the course and nothing more, for a team narrowly avoiding relegation. Southampton have started like we did under Grant, but Southampton have been punching with the heavy weights who will soon be aiming at our glass jaw!
All that said, a substitute bench reading Tomkins, McCartney, Benayoun, Maiga, Jarvis, Henderson and Diarra does not scream out relegation fodder - especially with Carroll ruled out by injury!